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It translate so beautifully,

If you slow down and stare,

No stops. Continue…

Life’s there to share.

 

We’ll make sure you’re covered,

For your time and expense,

She said so; confirming,

I won’t miss the rent.

Just play.

 

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

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The relationship we have with our lifestyle is a learned skill. That means it can be changed. In order to foster and develop a healthy environment, one of the first things we must do is provide accessible education. By empowering individuals to make lifestyle choices for themselves, we will create a culture people will gravitate towards. That’s super rad.

Xo

M

So this past week off of social media (mostly, I’ve still kept twitter on, it’s less distracting for me) has been refreshing. Hard to say if I was addicted or not, but it’s been freeing to be off of the need to capture a picture and seek external gratification from the mightiest of followings on Instagram or hear the latest rant about how much someone hates Trump or Trudeau or the shitty human that cut in line of the unfortunate soul now venting about it on my Facebook news feed. Yeah. I can’t say I miss all that shit. I could spend hours on that useless road.

I used to justify my involvement with social media as a need for business. In order to grow, we need to have a consistent brand, a consistent message and exciting social media  marketing…

Uhh. I call bullshit. On myself. Ha!

I mean, I’m sure it helps some people. “Social media strategy”. However, since my time away, I’ve reflected on this incredible irony.

So many self-proclaimed social media influencers pride themselves on authenticity and an honest message delivered with sheer passion. However, how does one maintain a genuine message if it’s part of a greater sales script?

I’m not advocating the typical artists’ “I create when I’m inspired” bullshit, because that’s just permitting failure, but I certainly see another side of what it means to be authentic.

I’ll still create only when I’m inspired. It’s just little different than most. To paraphrase a line in “The War of Art”

The creative only creates when he/she is inspired. That just so happens to be every day, at 7:00am, without fail. –

But my message will no longer be riddled with ways to get the next best thing. Way to train with me. And all of that. I mean, sure it’s cool to let people know you’re a good trainer, author, drummer or coach or whatever you are but I know that people start to tune it out after awhile. It’s gotta be super annoying. If you want to test this theory, video your next presentation, front to back and watch it over for a review night. Get the popcorn out because you’re in for a show.

I thought “Why the eff do people listen to me?”

Well, me… they stopped.

I’ve had a horrible time turning it off in my last three years of freelancing. I’ve been stuck in my self-fulfilling entrepreneurial-mindset. “It” being the sales game. It’s cost me over the years. Most notably it’s cost me relationships, trust and my own sanity. Shit, I had two people pay attention to my birthday this year. Two people. For a guy that prides himself as the life of the party…. that’s garbage. Clearly, I’m the only one at that party. But it was a nice awakening. My presence is clearly not adding to most of my friends lives. And I don’t like that. I’m prepared to make some changes to turn that around.

Being off of social media this past week has taught me that the world continues to spin and business definitely doesn’t need social media in order to thrive. I’ve actually done better with my business by removing myself. This is simply because I haven’t wasted hours upon hours online, scrolling through the feed, feeding into the scroll…I’m way more productive in areas of live that actually generate a paycheque. Real conversations with real people, taking care of myself, focusing on happiness and removing myself from situations that don’t help me grow in some way.

So, if I do return to social media, it will be under very different terms. And I’m actually still undecided about if I really want to return. All that bullshit I used to tell myself about Instagram and Facebook being huge movers for business is really silly, in hindsight. People know what I do. And if they don’t, and they want to, they’ll find me.

I do think Instagram and Facebook can highlight certain points about my business and showcase my personality, creativity and knowledge. But, I’m not going to push that shit anymore.

People know what I do. I don’t have to tell them.

If you feel that your message is falling on deaf ears, I’d strongly encourage you to stop talking and start listening.

Talk soon,

xo

I am trying to hear you, but your actions are deafening

 

Stress. It’s a real thing. The last couple of months have shown us how important wellness really is. Unfortunately the repercussions of not being well, physically and/or mentally, have taken the lives of many of our beloved industry colleagues. The darkness of anxiety, depression and addiction is slowly coming to light. And for good reason. Nowadays it’s very rare to come across someone that says “no” when asked if they’re feeling stressed. It’s become engrained to the hustle-bustle, 60 hour work week we all know and love to hate. But does it have to be like this? Not a chance. Here are my top 3 picks to help alleviate stress and get you back to being the best version of yourself.

The number one thing you should do when you’re struggling with something is talk to a professional for help. Yes, your friends can lend an ear, but unless they’re trained professionals you’re not getting the full meal deal. Speaking to a professional counsellor, therapist and/or a psychiatrist will help you identify the root of the stress and they’ll then be able to provide you with the right resources to get you back in action, stat. I still go to therapy and I would recommend it to anyone who’s seeking direction, closure from a relationship, financial advice, how to conquer their fears or anything that’s got them feeling down, stressed, helpless or worse yet – suicidal. It’s serious. Below I’ve included a few links to some services ’round these parts and a brief description of what they do.

Elephant Artist Relief
  • Great local resource with everything from funding options, financial aid to counselling etc… connectors to all aspects of better well-being

Distress Centre 

  • 24/7 crisis support for Calgary and southern Alberta. These fine folks do not define crisis and are there for anyone at any time. This is their 24-Hour Crisis Line: 403.266.HELP (4357) and you can find them on the web at http://www.distresscentre.com/contact-us/

Unison Benevolent Fund

  • Non-Profit registered charity that provides counselling and emergency relief services to the Canadian music community. They help professional music makers in times of hardship, illness or economic difficulties. Here’s their assistance number 1-855-986-4766 and website – http://unisonfund.ca
  • We actually have a “Mental Health and Wellbeing” Download session happening Wednesday, March 21 at 6:30pm in Calgary session for Alberta Music members. Amanda Power from Unison Benevolent Fund will be joining me on the panel, so be sure to head here to save your seat in Calgary (if you’re not a member, get on it! You get free access to the awesome programming – albertamusic.org/membership)
  • I actually had the treat of interviewing the Executive Director of Unison, Shiela Hamilton back last fall. Hear our conversation about Unison Benevolent Fund and how us artists can utilize their services here Shiela Hamilton – Unison Benevolent Fund 

2. Journal and Meditate 

Oftentimes, just putting the proverbial pen to paper (talk about alliteration!) can remedy a lot of stress in our lives. A new brain imaging study by UCLA psychologists reveals why verbalizing our feelings makes our sadness, anger and pain less intense. [Read the full article here]

As far as meditation goes, this is a favourite quote of mine:

“You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes everyday – unless you’re too busy; then you should sit for an hour.”

I personally like to use an app called “Headspace” for my mediation and another app called “Daylio” for tracking my mood and a daily journal entry.

However, I don’t like being on my phone. I find it’s actually quite contradictory to disconnecting and being mindful, as we spend so much time glued to the Snapface and Instabook already. So, if you’re like me, I’d recommend going out and grabbing a journal from a local bookstore for $25. Or better yet, I wrote a 21-Day Self-Love Journal. It’s easy to follow along and start placing gratitude, self-worth and consideration at the top of your charts… Super helpful if you’re struggling to get there on your own. Day by day you just implement the tools I prescribe and voila, you’re on your way to becoming the best version of yourself in just 21 days. Start reading it here for free – Start With U: 21 Day Self-Love Challenge

3. Exercise!

That’s right, in general, findings from research indicate that exercise is associated with improvements in mental health including mood state and self-esteem, although a causal link has not been established. Research on acute exercise indicates that 20 to 40 minutes of aerobic activity results in improvements in state anxiety and mood that persist for several hours. These transitory changes in mood occur in both individuals with normal or elevated levels of anxiety, but appear to be limited to aerobic forms of exercise. [Read the full article here]

So what’s the difference between aerobic exercise and all that other stuff? Well, aerobic exercise is exercise where your body’s cardiovascular system (the lungs and heart and circulatory system) work to provide the main source of energy to the body. Things like long walks, jogging, resistance circuit training (sorta), swimming, hiking, cycling, flow yoga and trail running are all examples of aerobic exercise.

We also have Anna Beaumont a voice teacher sitting in on the “Mental Health and Wellbeing” download session in March with myself and Amanda, so be sure to register if you’re interested in learning more about how mindset, meditation and movement can help your playing, reduce your stress and essentially help you to become the best version of yourself.

Here are a few other ways to get active, try something new and have fun:

Edmonton

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City Fit Shop – Whip around obstacles and play like a kid again in Edmonton’s premiere

obstacle course gym.

logoss.pngThe Surf Studio – Hang ten, dude. Get your surf on at this one-of-a-kind fitness experience. You’ll understand why those surfer dudes and babes are ripped! Holy core, Batman!

topVertically Inclined Rock Gym – If you’re not afraid of heights or awesome things this might be the ticket to getting a new activity down. Kids programs, adult programs and birthday party specials, this place has it all for veteran climbers and rookies.

Calgary

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Bodhi Tree Yoga – Looking for the best Yoga studio experiences in town? Look no further than Bodhi Tree. Plus Alberta Music’s own, Amy Thiessen teaches here. Incredible instructors and space so this spot is great for the seasoned yogi and first timers alike.

Click here to learn more about the MusicFit Collective Affiliate discount to save some coin on your yoga passes.

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Bike and BrewCalgary’s first cycle shop and cafe, these guys offer it all. Have a cup of the best brew in town, snack on some baking from Corbeaux Bakehouse or try a sandwich from locals vendors Peppino while you get your bike serviced. They also offer group rides, information sessions and product knowledge workshops so once the snow clears you’re all set to ride.

Click here to learn more about the MusicFit Collective Affiliate discount to save some coin on your caffeination and select merchandise. 

There are some musician specialty clinics happening in March and April as well:

Sunday, April 8 “How To Effective Load Gear”

Load Gear Without Fear

This is a musician wellness workshop that will focus on practical theory and knowledge combined with practical movement patterns to ensure you’re keeping your body in good form and avoiding injury. Limited space, AB Members only (get your membership at www[dot]albertamusic[dot]org/membership") Price includes taxes and service fees.

C$59.00

Sunday March 25 “Down-regulatory exercise: Working-In”

How To Use Exercise To Inspire Creativity and Performance March 25 (AB Music Members Early Bird)

This specialty clinic will touch on effective down-regulatory exercise and stretching techniques to help alleviate pain, reduce stress and help you increase creativity and performance. You’ll be at 11. Why don’t you just make 10 louder? Because this one goes to eleven. AB Music members discount (get your membership at www[dot]albertamusic[dot]org/membership) Limited space. Price includes taxes and service fees

C$59.00

Well folks, I hope you can take something valuable away from this. If you’re interested in a consult to determine how to organize parts of your lifestyle you’d like to improve, please reach out. For all Alberta Music Members I offer 50% off, all hour long consultations  and I can meet in person and via Facebook video every Friday. Contact me to book a spot.

Quick recap and I’ll get out of your hair:

  1. Talk to a professional if you’re having challenges in life.
  2. Journal your thoughts and take time to be with yourself.
  3. Exercise! There’s plenty of ways to move your body and they don’t all revolve around the gym…

As always, thanks for reading,

Namaste sweet!

Peace.

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Ps. Rad photo eh? Check my brother out on Facebook Sean Schwartz Photography

I just had a brief “aha” as I was perusing through my social media feeds…

Authenticity.

Is it today’s overused catchphrase. A trend? Or can we still milk some sort of value amidst the shadows of hashtags, followers, filters, overproduced content and the need for the dopamine hits that result from that pesky like button.

Do you agree with me? Listen in here. “Authenticity”

You know what I’m talking about.

You’ve heard it before.

Maybe you’ve even said it.

“Yeah man, I’ll be there around 4…”

Or better yet, “how’s 4 ish…?”

None of theses fly with me.

There are a few reasons I set all my appointments for :07, :37, or :17…

1. Punctuality is increased. Dramatically. Why’s that important? Well, asides from the obvious respect for my time it shows when clients and meetings are run on time, the psychological response of a late person is frantic and scattered. Do you think that changes in a meeting or a personal training session. Heck no. I then spend 20 minutes getting the psychology of the meeting in place, or spend 10 minutes longer on neurological warm ups sorted out so the athlete gets in the right mindset before lifting heavy things above his or her head.

When the client shows up at 4:05, they’re actually 2 minutes early. You might be surprised how much difference that makes…

2. More importantly, when you say “ish”, “kinda”, “maybe” and all other forms of “soft talk” (see Procabulary.org) you give yourself a lax deadline… so how could you possibly make a set time?

You’re guaranteeing your own failure at making a set time when you don’t actually hold yourself accountable to a set time.

So here’s my challenge of the week.

Pick an appointment and consciously pick a time and make it to the appointment by that time. Verbalize it to hold accountability. It can be as simple as going out with friends and just telling them you’ll be there by 6:15 rather than “around 6”.

Let me know how that goes. And how that feels.

Til next time,

Stay sweet!

We spend a lot of time doing nothing.

For real…

If you’re on your IPhone right now try this out

—–> Settings

—–> Battery

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Check out what apps eat most of your battery.

Most people I do this with have Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or twitter topping the list. All great ways to waste time…

Here is what I would suggest if you’re looking to be more productive:

Learn to put the phone down.

Designated Distraction Hours

Take 3 points throughout the day to check emails, check Facebook (or other social media) and buzz through your texts. Actually schedule those times through the day in your iCal, google Calendar journal or otherwise.

Set aside time to intentionally do these things. If it’s work related or not, you’ll be much more productive.

But what if I miss something?

Don’t worry, Trump is doing something ridiculous every few hours. You’ll catch the next one.

If it’s important, people will call you. You won’t miss anything. It’ll be okay. Set aside designated hours and get distracted with intent. You may not even need the whole hour. But set the alarm and get to it so you stay productive the rest of the day.

Try it out. Let me know what you think.

Til next time… Stay sweet!

Ps. I’ll be dialling back to just one post per week starting next month. With intent, my writing will be of greater value and most importantly I will be writing because of want, not need.

My whole business schedule is evolving so if you’d like to learn more and follow along, please be sure to join my newsletter.  Here’s the link to opt in –

http://eepurl.com/c1M_Hb

See you there!